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Super Summer Snacks

 

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost here and the kids are out of school! Often times, when kids (and parents too) get away from their normal routine, poor eating and snacking habits creep in. It’s important for kids (and parents) to have a variety of go-to snacks that are tasty, healthy, and easy to prepare!

Put some thought into which snacks make the best choices, and get input from the kids. Children and teenagers are more likely to eat what you buy (and be excited about it!), if they help in the process.

 

watermelon snack.small1.)        PLAN: Sit down together and make a list of snack-type foods they might like, and can easily prepare themselves.

2.)        LIST: Make a list of the foods you’ll need to pick up at the grocery store.

3.)        SHOP: Take the kids with you shopping… let them help fill the cart with the foods you’ve agreed on.

4.)        PREPARE: Allow the kids to help wash, cut, portion, and prepare snacks. This will give them more confidence in the kitchen… now and as a future adult.

Stumped on where to get started? Your best bet is to stay away from processed, pre-packaged snack foods, and sugary drinks. These are typically high in unhealthy fats, oils, and sugar, and lack the vitamins, minerals, and fiber fresh and frozen whole foods have.

Try these super easy and healthy snacks:

  • Layer vanilla yogurt and mandarin oranges or blueberries in a tall glass. Top with a sprinkle of granola to make a “parfait”.
  • Put cubes of low-fat cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks to make “snack-kabobs”.
  • Top a banana with low-fat vanilla and strawberry frozen yogurt and sprinkle with your favorite whole-grain cereal for a healthy “banana-split”.
  • Use whole grain (flour or corn) tortillas and top with tomato sauce, cut veggies and shredded cheese. Eat it flat (like a pizza) or roll it up (like a wrap).

Keep your children, and yourself, on track this summer by remembering these main messages from ChooseMyPlate and The Dietary Guidelines:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
    • Focus on whole fruits.
    • Vary your veggies.
    • Make half your grains whole grains.
  • Move to low-fat and fat-free milk or yogurt.
  • Vary your protein routine.
  • Drink and eat less sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars.

Everything you eat and drink over time matters.  The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future.  Start with small changes to make healthier choices you can enjoy.   Find your healthy eating style and maintain it for a lifetime.

Find more great ideas with additional resources from MyPlate Snack Tips for Parents

and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 25 Healthy Snacks for Kids.

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Author: amymullins – amymullins@ufl.edu

Amy Mullins is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent responsible for coordinating the Adult Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in Leon County. Amy is a Registered Dietitian and a graduate of The University of Florida and Florida State University.

amymullins

Permanent link to this article: http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/05/30/super-summer-snacks/